Chatbots are making online shopping and payments a breeze –see why retailers are jumping on this growing trend
- “eBay ShopBot, which launched in October 2016, was an attempt to battle the ongoing decline in eBay’s gross merchandise volume and to increase marketplace awareness. RJ Pittman, the Chief Product Officer of eBay, said in an interview with Forbes that Shopbot had created an opportunity for eBay to reach a new group of shoppers through Facebook Messenger, one of the top messaging applications.
- According to a recent BI Intelligence report, more than 200 million users in China have added payments information into WeChat, a popular messaging application, and WeChat’s parent company now holds 37% market share of the Chinese mobile payment market.”
- “Mobile marketers face a challenge in converting browsers into paying customers, especially compared with consumers who use desktop computers to make purchases. Conversion rates on desktop are more than double that of mobile, 3.35% on desktop vs. 1.61% on mobile, according to Qubit’s analysis of 35 fashion and cosmetics brands since 2017.
- Some retailers have looked at integrating visual search as a way to drive mobile conversions. By leveraging AI to make it easy for mobile users to discover new products and make a purchase, Qubit hopes to address the challenge for e-commerce retailers hoping to convert new customers. Early testers are optimistic about the potential, with Wolf & Badger, which has over 30,000 products on its site, reporting it is seeing conversion rate uplifts of 3.6% on mobile after implementing Qubit Aura.”
- “Ometria, a customer marketing platform which says it’s “AI-powered” has raised $6m in Series A funding. US-based Summit Action led the round, along with an investment syndicate backed by individuals with roles inside some key retailers. Ometria has now raised a total of $11m to accelerate the development of its customer marketing platform, which, it claims, enables retailers to send individually personalised marketing messages across several brand touchpoints.
- Ometria’s main competitors are spread across companies like email service providers (Emarsys, Sailthru, Selligent, Bronto, Dotmailer), behavioral marketing tools (CloudIQ, SaleCycle, Yieldify) and customer insight companies (More2, AgileOne). Its argument is that none of these companies were developed specifically for retail, or to create and use a unified predictive profile of each customer.”
- “Despite all the media buzz about artificial intelligence (AI) and connected commerce reshaping the retail world, nearly half of retailers with an online presence are not yet using these tools — and moreover, many of them have no plans to start. That’s according to an eCommerce “Performance Indicators and Confidence Report” by SLI Systems, which, on a quarterly basis, surveys more than 200 mid-size retailers with a range of business models to gauge where eCommerce may be moving in the near future.
- And, when only approximately 20 percent of the consumer base owns or has used a voice-activated assistant for shopping, perhaps retailers’ reluctance to invest in these technologies is prudent. Why dump tons of money into making things a little easier for one-fifth of the population, when those budget dollars could be serving the 58 percent of consumers who have not tried — and don’t plan to try — voice shopping?
- The numbers seem to indicate that all the hype about AI in retail may be just that: hype. But, SLI believes there’s another word for these middling adoption rates: opportunity.”